Worlding the Brain: Patterns, Rhythms, Narratives in Neuroscience and the Humanities
Interdisciplinary symposium at the University of Amsterdam
March 17th-19th 2016
Confirmed keynote speakers:
- Prof. Jean Pierre Changeux (Collège de France, Institut Pasteur)
- Prof. N. Katherine Hayles (Duke University)
- Prof. Andreas Roepstorff (Aarhus University)
The human brain is ubiquitous in contemporary science and culture. Knowledge of the brain has made the journey from the labs of cognitive neuroscientists out into the world where it has taken on a life of its own in various social fields and artistic and intellectual discourses, including the humanities. This interest in the brain and its influence on culture at large are likely to continue, with the recent multi-billion US Brain initiative and EU Human Brain Project. At the same time, in a parallel development to the cultural dissemination of brain research cognitive neuroscientists are also increasingly interested in how the brain’s functional and structural properties are partly determined by its material, social and cultural environments. New research has begun to address how the brain responds to specific social and discursive practices or cultural information and how it is influenced by art, social interactions and technology. This interest in the interaction between brains and their environments has led to fruitful interdisciplinary collaborations between neuroscientists, social scientists and humanities scholars.
By ‘worlding the brain’ we refer to these various attempts to study and understand human brains in interaction with their worldly contexts and environments. It is our aim to bring together scholars from different backgrounds in an interdisciplinary symposium that stimulates a productive exchange of different views of the mutual influence of the extracerebral world on the brain and the brain on the world. In order to study these processes, we will focus on patterns, rhythms and narratives as central themes of the symposium and crucial elements of the ‘worlding’ of the brain. On the one hand, patterns, rhythms, and narratives are used to sort, integrate, abstract and contextualize information in the brain. On the other hand, they are found in historical, social and cultural processes that provide the brain with environmentally specific information. Combining these perspectives can yield wide-ranging insights. The symposium will therefore bring together neuroscientific, social scientific and humanities perspectives.
We invite papers that offer interdisciplinary perspectives on relevant topics such as:
- the co-evolution and co-constitution of patterns in brain processes and cultural patterns
- correlations between patterns in the brain and phenomena of information; “chunking” in cultural contexts
- narrative comprehension at the intersection of neuroscientific, cognitive and humanities approaches
- the relation between [bodily] motion, dance and cognition
- translation of brain patterns and rhythms into artistic forms
- artistic practices as creative research into patterns
- patterns, rhythms and narratives as cognitive, diagnostic and therapeutic tools
- interdisciplinary perspectives on intercultural differences with regard to patterns and narratives
- patterns, narratives through which the brain takes shape in public discourse
- the role of media and technology in worldings of the brain; brain maps in the world
- causes and consequences of pattern and narrative ‘overload’
We invite proposals for 15 minute presentations, allowing after each presentation a 15 minute discussion. We encourage interdisciplinary co-presentations or pre-constituted interdisciplinary panels. When submitting a proposal, please include a title; an abstract of ca. 250 words; a short bio and a short bibliography that includes three publications that are relevant for your topic.
The final deadline for submissions is 10th January 2016, 23.59 GMT. We will accept submissions on a rolling basis, with a final acceptance notice of 17 January 2016. The fee for participating in the symposium will be € 150,00.
Proposals and inquiries can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org (subject: ‘Worlding the Brain 2016’). A website for the symposium will be published shortly.
This symposium is organized by the ASCA research group Neuroaesthetics and Neurocultures.